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Aren't Getting Their Due
by Jeff Winston

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Better than what she's become

Better than what she's become
Aren't Getting Their Due

Last article my buddy did a column on underrated actors, or at the very least, a number of actors who had to work long and hard to get the acclaim they deserve. This made me think about a number of actresses who, in my opinion, have not made good on the talent they possess.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Right off the bat I am sure I got many groans just by naming her in this list, much less making her the first name out of the gate. I know lately most people only see the big boobs and an ass that could very well be given its own zip code, but her anatomy aside, JLH is actually not a bad little actress, when she gets a decent role offered.

Let's go back to the early JLH days when she got her breakout role on PARTY OF FIVE. Now, even though many of you will not admit it, you saw her on this show at least once. To those of you who won't admit it, I got one word "denial." I'm not saying you watched the show religiously or anything, but you saw her on this show at least once flipping through the channels, or by actually following the plot lines. Back to the task at hand, in this role JLH had to deal with a boyfriend who drank, was verbally abusive, and occasionally was physically abusive, cheated on her, and whom she had to quite emotionally dump. She was pretty convincing as a strong teen, whose sense of worth is destroyed by her boyfriend, and who embarks on the path of reclaiming her identity without him. As if this isn't enough, she actually attempts to continue a friendship, as a roommate no less, due to her emotional attachment to him, and his family. This role was complex and she played the part, with its highs and lows, quite well. This girl had amazing potential.

As is the case with most teen actresses she made a number of movies like I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and CAN'T HARDLY WAIT. Her acting was as average as the plot lines, and generally the opinion of the film was attached to the acting involved. Now I loved the latter film, but it was more for the supporting characters in the film, and had very little to do with the acting from JLH or her love interest Ethan Embry. HEARTBREAKERS, hey what can you say about this film. When Jason Lee is involved in a dramatic role, you're looking at a bit of trouble anyway, but the only good thing about JLH's role in this film is the flaunting of her completely tight body for a number of the seduction scenes. If you're a straight woman, I imagine this movie held no redeeming virtue for you whatsoever. Unless you're a straight woman who still admires a hot, tight body.

Surprisingly though, JLH is getting better roles, and acting quite well again, in a number of independent films. If you have not seen the film IF ONLY, I highly suggest
My So called movie career

My So called movie career
you pick it up. The movie focuses on a self obsessed and often crude Englishman and his American girlfriend. After completely destroying his girlfriends love for him one night with a series of careless and tactless actions, she dumps him and flees in a cab. The cab is broadsided, and she dies later that night. The next morning she is alive and well and the day has not happened yet, but the boyfriend still has the memories from it. It's a more romantic, less comedic groundhog day, but the plot is quite similar. The boyfriend spends the day trying to cheat fate, but is willing to settle for loving her for that one day in case he is unable to save her. This role brings her back to her roots from Party of Five, playing the jilted and unloved partner who needs to stand up to the boyfriend, and who must also act emotionally enough when the boyfriend emotionally fulfills her the "next" day. There is one scene where she gets quite upset and it brings me to tears every time.

CLAIRE DANES.

Hey, we've got another girl who started on a critically acclaimed television show. MY SO CALLED LIFE was a one hit wonder of the TV genre if you will. Although it did not do great in the ratings, its first and only season garnered some amazing critical acclaim and took on a very large cult following later on. CD played an emotionally confused, and not popular teen trying to sort out her own identity, be a good friend to her long time gal pal, and openly gay guy pal. Oh, and of course she is lusting after the hottest guy in school who barely knows she's alive for much of the season, and by the time they do hook up, they are both so messed up inside that a relationship is harder to maintain than an erection in an old folks home. Like the previous notary, she pulled off the emotional complexity better than we could have expected of someone so young.

Unlike JLH, her movie roles have been pretty varied and they have been decent parts from early on. It takes someone special to pull of Juliet ( Romeo and Juliet) , a stuck up bitch suddenly thrust into a Thai prison after being duped into drug smuggling ( BROKEDOWN PALACE), and a chaste yet lustful aristocrat with a hint of societal naive ness ( LES MISERABLE)

This girl's career should have been bigger than Simon Cowell's ego and Usher's ignorance of homosexuality.....combined. Yet -after more than a decade- she is either getting very few decent roles, or is being asked to play stock characters like the unsuspecting love interest of John Conner in TERMINATOR 3 ?RISE OF THE MACHINES.

I am not sure if she's cut back on acting or whether the studios do not think that she has any potential to become a star, but this actress needs to be strongly reconsidered, as she has the looks and
I'll make it to the top of the A list soon

I'll make it to the top of the A list soon
the acting ability to be as big a star as Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon (both of whom has questionable acting ability and an awkward yet oddly irresistible beauty)

Rachel Weisz

After seeing the first MUMMY movie I was a little bit smitten with her, but I am also a sucker for a hot English accent. None the less, this girl definitely had the cute factor going on. (By the time she filmed the sequel she had the hot factor going on after the ancient knife fight, but that's another story) The movie did nothing o showcase her acting talent however. Still, some people must have recognized something in her for she was soon cast in ENEMY AT THE GATES, a movie that did average at the box office despite critics loving it. She plays the love interest of a British Army sniper during the Second World War. It's the path the love takes that makes her role a good one. The love is by no means an easy process, as the situation hardly leaves them in a position for love. She pulls off the role of a woman not looking for love suddenly being overwhelmed by it and then being so consumed by it that her previous priorities take the back seat.

Then you have another wonderful movie like RUNAWAY JURY where she practically steals the show away from Hackman, Cusack and Hoffman. Not an easy thing to do against three, well at least two, of Hollywood's powerhouse actors and movie star elite.

Now, she is either getting good roles in films that do crappy at the box office, or okay films with a bit part (THE FOUNTAIN and DEFINITELY MAYBE) This girl should be making more than Reese Witherspoon as her acting ability is ten times better and she has a more seductive beauty. I am not sure why people are so taken with an actress with a square head, John Travolta's chin and the oddest devilish grin, but hey I guess people like the fact that Reese looks like a 13 year old as she enters her thirties. I'm just saying........

But then again the people who give Reese and others the popularity they have are also the people who kept Steve Urkle, Balki Bartokamous and Screech on the air for more than five seasons.

Anyway, there a number of actresses out there who are overrated and taking in a higher salary than they are worth, and there are these women (and others) who are clawing for the peanuts the studios will give them and showing of the obvious talent that they have.

These girls need to get back in the game and the studios need to give them another look, otherwise they might as well just get it over with and change their name to Mira Sorvino, another acting talent who dropped out of pretty much any role after wining an Oscar, or Cuba Gooding Jr.





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Mouthing Off
Every other Thursday

Mouthing Off is the no bull, tell it like it is column on various issues in the Hollywood arena. You want PC, then keep on moving, you won't get it here.


Other Columns
Other columns by Jeff Winston:

The Money Pitt

Movies of South Korea

I Vant to Suck your Blud

Finally Getting Their Due - Underrated Actors

THe Issue of Accents

All Columns


Jeff Winston
I am a part time writer and full time teacher. I am currently stationed in the middle of nowhere, northern Alberta, Canada. I love movies, and I love to vent, I am happy to have an outlet to incorporate both here on Matchflick.


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If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Jeff Winston by clicking here.


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